Nightmares that are associated with a psychiatric disorder are managed by treating the underlying disorder. For patients without psychiatric disorders, psychological counseling to deal with any recurring themes in the nightmares may be helpful. Children may not require treatment for nightmares unless the dreams are causing significant distress, as nightmares generally resolve as children mature.
Because stress is thought to be the most common cause of nightmares, stress reduction techniques may prove to be effective complementary treatments. Typical relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or exercise may be helpful. Psychotherapy can be an effective way to identify major stressors in the person's life, and to explore ways in which they may be reduced or eliminated.
Sadock, Benjamin J., and Virginia A. Sadock, eds. Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry. 7th ed. Vol. 2. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2000.
Krakow, Barry, and others. "Imagery Rehearsal Therapy for Chronic Nightmares in Sexual Assault Survivors with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder." Journal of the American Medical Association 286, no. 5 (August 1 2001).
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. 6301 Bandel Road NW, Suite 101, Rochester, MN 55901. (507) 287-6006. <www.asda.org>.
Tish Davidson, A.M.
Tish Davidson A.M., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,